Mothers' citizenship status and household food insecurity among low-income children of immigrants

New Dir Child Adolesc Dev. 2008 Fall;2008(121):43-62. doi: 10.1002/cd.222.


Recent data have shown that children of immigrant noncitizens experience more persistent and higher levels of food insecurity than the children of citizens following welfare reform. However, little is known about the range of factors that might explain different rates of food insecurity in the different populations. In this study, the authors used national data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten cohort to assess this question, using multivariate probit regression analyses in a low-income sample. They found that households of children (foreign and U.S.-born) with noncitizen mothers are at substantially greater risk of food insecurity than their counterparts with citizen mothers and that demographic characteristics such as being Latina, levels of maternal education, and large household size explain about half of the difference in rates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation
  • Adult
  • Attitude
  • Child Development
  • Child, Preschool
  • Communication Barriers
  • Eligibility Determination / statistics & numerical data*
  • Emigrants and Immigrants*
  • Emotions
  • Energy Intake*
  • Family Characteristics
  • Female
  • Food Supply / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Services
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Hunger
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Models, Econometric
  • Mothers / statistics & numerical data*
  • Nutritional Status
  • Poverty / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sampling Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Isolation
  • Social Welfare / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States